The National Zoological Park in Delhi is set to welcome three new species – leopard cat, fishing cat and Oriental pied hornbill – early next year, after the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) approved an extension of validity for exchange with Tripura’s Sepahijala Zoo.
As per a letter dated November 28, 2018, from the CZA to the Delhi zoo director: “Five leopard cats, five fishing cats and two Oriental pied hornbills will come to Delhi zoo in exchange of two Indian peafowls, five hog deer, and five Indian palm civets.”
The approval for the exchange came on April 3, 2018, with an exchange validity of six months. “These three species will be new to Delhi zoo. We prefer doing the transfers in winter, as the weather is more conducive to the long commute. Summer is harsh for such a long on-road journey for animals. By winter, the validity expired, but it’s been extended for another six months now,” said a source at the Delhi zoo.
Apart from the Tripura zoo, the CZA has also extended the validity of exchange between Delhi Zoo and Lucknow’s Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden, as well as with Mysore’s Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens. As per a letter from CZA to the Delhi zoo director, dated November 28, 2018, a female tiger from the Delhi zoo will move to the Lucknow zoo, while a male white tiger will come to the Delhi zoo from Lucknow. As of now, the Delhi zoo has seven white tigers, including five females.
From the Mysore zoo, one female lion-tailed macaque, two four-horned antelopes, two Indian grey wolves, two white peafowls, five red avadavat, and one Hamadryas baboon will be transferred to the Delhi zoo.
The approval of exchange was given in April 2018, and the letter of extension of validity of exchange was sent by the CZA to the Mysore zoo on December 10, 2018.